Some recent beneficiaries of the Trust

LONDON HIV CHAPLAINCY - HELPING PEOPLE LIVE WITH THE COMPLEXITY OF HIV

Many people living with HIV suffer trauma both from being diagnosed positive and through the negative responses they have received from their faith communities. The chaplaincy walk with clients who suffer such trauma to re-establish their self-confidence, to enable clients to be able to trust again. Trust can only be built when our words match our actions.

Thanks to the MB Reckitt Trust the London HIV Chaplaincy will be able to produce a book ("A Darker Pilgrimage - a burning text") on what the Chaplaincy has learnt since it's conception in 2003. It will be a must read for all people who offer pastoral care. Publication details will be made available on the chaplaincy's website.

Article 26, a Project of the Helena Kennedy Foundation - Qualifying Opportunities & Quantifying Demand

"Since 2005, the Article 26 project has been at the forefront of a campaign to support the access, participation and success in higher education (HE) for people who have fled persecution and sought asylum in the UK. These students face multiple challenges accessing HE, including financial barriers (many people are not entitled to student finance), navigating the HE applications system, meeting the language requirements, trying to ensure prior qualifications and experience gained outside of the UK are recognised by universities, as well as dealing with the wider health and social consequences of displacement. 

Article 26 works with universities across the UK to create, establish and sustain scholarships for people who have sought asylum. The aim of the 'Qualifying Opportunities & Quantifying Demand' project, is to return to the roots of the project and the opportunities, which were initially created within faith based higher education institutions. Qualitative research methods will be used to map the inception, development and significant growth of scholarships for these students across the UK and explore the commitment and potential threats to their continuity. The quantifying aspect of this work will endeavour to establish the extent of the demand for these scholarships across the UK, challenges in collecting and collating existing data and develop an alternative methodology to record this information in the future." For further information, please see our website.

The Centre for Theology & Community – Going Deeper: Engaging Pentecostal and Catholic Churches in Organising

MB Reckitt Trust has supported a number of pieces of work by CTC which have focused on particular social issues. In each case, the Centre has both produced accessible, high-impact reports (such as God and the Moneylenders and From Houses to Homes) and helped churches to organise with others to achieve specific, measurable changes in policy. 

The Trust is supporting the Centre in establishing two programmes – the William Seymour Programme for Pentecostal and Baptist Black Majority churches, and the Cardinal Manning Programme for Roman Catholic churches – to encourage deeper engagement from these traditions in community organising with other denominations and faiths for the common good. For news and updates, please see our website.

Stonewall – Faith Role Models Programme

Many lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people report feeling alienated from their faith, with some having experienced rejection by some religious groups, leading to many being disconnected from their roots and heritage. This can result in LGBT people often finding it impossible to reconcile their sexuality with their faith, feeling they need to choose one over the other.

Thanks to funding from the MB Reckitt Trust, Stonewall will run a Faith Role Models Programme for 24 LGBT faith and communities leaders to encourage them to think about their LGBT identities and how they can play an active role in furthering equality within their own communities.

The course is designed to create lasting change for both the individual attendees and for those they work with, providing them with the confidence and tools to challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and to create inclusive environments for LGBT people of faith.

The Centre for Theology & Community – Building a Community to make Housing Affordable

CTC is beginning a new campaign to engage congregations in action to tackle the housing crisis. This is modelled on our successful ‘Call to Change’ campaign in 2012, and will involve a mixture of grassroots listening, theological reflection and action to help churches respond effectively to the housing crisis. It also builds on our recent report ‘Our Common Heritage’ about housing associations and churches working in partnership. The work will involve working with Citizens UK and others to develop campaigns, practical actions with churches and new research. For news and updates, please see our website. The report from this project has been published, entitled "Houses to Homes"

Church Action on Poverty – Building the Good Society

  • What are the values that underpin a Good Society?
  • What kind of world do we all want to live in, five years from now?
  • How can we get there from here?
  • What changes do we need to make?

With support from Church Action on Poverty, churches and community groups across the UK are talking about what makes a Good Society – and how we can work together to make it real.

Conversations are happening in the UK’s poorest communities – places where people feel completely excluded, and have no power to influence the decisions that affect them. These workshops will inspire people to work for change, equip us to start working together and also lead to national action. The grassroots voices and visions that emerge from the workshops will lead to real action for a Good Society. In January 2016, a conference will bring together representatives from all the Good Society conversations.

From 2016, Church Action on Poverty’s projects and campaigns will mobilise supporters, and use the organisation’s contacts, skills and expertise, to share and make real the vision of a Good Society that emerges from this process. Discussions are already taking place with funders and power-holders about the possibility of creating a Good Society Commission, through which people with experience of poverty would work directly alongside people from some of the UK’s most powerful institutions to build the Good Society. 

For more information see www.church-poverty.org.uk/goodsociety

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Stonewall – ‘Christians and LGBT Equality’

Our recent grant from The MB Reckitt Trust will allow Stonewall to research, write and produce a ‘Christians and LGBT Equality’ guide.  The guide will showcase Christian support worldwide for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality.

In Britain and around the world brave LGBT people and their allies can be excluded from churches, and arguments that homosexuality is anti-Christian often help to fuel homophobia and create hostile environments for LGBT people. This guide will raise the voices of those who support LGBT equality by profiling a diverse group of Christian leaders, from a range of continents and denominations, each telling their personal story of how they reconciled their faith with their support for LGBT equality.  The guide will be distributed in Britain and worldwide to help create a greater acceptance of LGBT people in Christian communities around the world. The guide is available, entitled "Christian Role Models"

TOGETHER FOR THE COMMON GOOD - Common Good Conversations: a pilot event on ‘Home’

Together for the Common Good encourages Christians of different denominations to work together, along with other faith traditions and secular allies to become agents of change for the Common Good.

Funding has been provided by MB Reckitt Trust to develop a new ‘Common Good Conversation’ model. It will equip participants to challenge the polarisation in public discourse and replace it with a ‘language of hope’. We believe that ‘Common Good’ thinking will help and we want to provide opportunities for ordinary people to See, hear and practise a language of hope, in order to equip them to apply it in their own contexts.  The pilot will focus on the very human topic of 'Home' (housing, property and homelessness).  The event will see people of different circumstances and estranged positions come together to encounter one another’s perspectives. The conversations will be firmly guided by professional facilitators using the principles of Catholic social thought. Participants will practise this language of hope together in a structured, safe environment, and identify solutions to answer the question: ‘how can we move forward together to get from where we are now to where we want to be, where all can flourish?’ 

It is our aim that the model will be replicated by participants in their own contexts, on topics that are of importance to them, in order to challenge apathy, stimulate action and build up positive responsibility in civil society.  

For further information please see: [website]

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Church Action on Poverty - Partners to Close the Gap

When local churches engage with UK poverty they often set up projects which do great work, but which ultimately treat people in poverty as passive victims and do nothing to address the root causes of poverty.

Partners to Close the Gap will be piloted with four 'clusters' of churches in each of four geographical areas across the UK and aims to equip them to really engage with their communities by providing training, mentoring and support to enable them to explore the links between faith, spirituality and social justice, to apply their learning to tackling the structural causes of poverty in the UK and to take effective local action with their wider communities. The project aims to help churches to enable people to be agents of change and transformation, tackling the structural barriers trapping them in poverty themselves. Should this project be successful, it is hoped that the model can be rolled out to the wider Christian Community across the country.[website]

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The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility

The Ethical Money Churches (EMC) project will build a community of people in UK churches who are seeking to fulfil their Christian stewardship and ownership responsibilities with regard to the money, savings and assets that are used either by them as individuals and/or on their behalf as members of church denominations. The project will harbour and generate grassroots involvement through training and development of materials and support networks to help faith communities understand the issues and develop appropriate responses and practical action as a vital part of their discipleship and mission.

A supportive and interactive relationship with the pilot communities will be developed to help them chart their own pathway to becoming an Ethical Money Church (EMC). This will also ensure that sometimes difficult and complex issues can be fully explored and appropriate responses developed as well as the learning and action to be effectively captured and lead beyond the initial project period to a much wider roll-out across the churches. [website]

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St Thomas' Clapton Common - Releasing the Talents

Releasing the Talents aims, both practically and theologically, to answer the question: Debt Advice and Credit Unions: What can Churches do next? Through ‘action learning’ the project will trial a variety of approaches to help individuals-in-community manage their personal finances in a more effective manner that is financially realistic, community focused and expressive of the theological and liturgical resources of the Church. Part of this is recognizing mutuality, reciprocity and abundance within our networks of civic society. Releasing the Talents will be aiming for replication and scaleability, that is, the project will aim to be sustainable and the lessons learnt shared with interested stakeholders so that a successful model can be replicated. [website

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St Thomas' Clapton Common - Food for Thought

Food for Thought at its simplest level is a project to help people cook healthy and nutritious meals on a small budget. Diet is a major contributor to poor health and processed food is often more costly than food prepared and cooked at home. "Food for Thought" will trial an effective working model and then share the successful practices with other churches and institutions that may be interested in running such a programme.

"Food for Thought" also aims to bring people together around shared food in order to celebrate a common life and to empower individuals and communities to recognise the structural problems that maintain poverty and ill-health. The theological impetus behind "Food for Thought" is Eucharistic and, in this sense, it is both a celebration of the resources we already enjoy as well as a re-imagination of what may be possible. [website]

The report of the project can be found on this link http://www.londonpen.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/FFTFullFinal-2.pdf

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English PEN

Faith in Free Speech is a research and educational project which aims to bridge the divide between the religious and secular and highlight how free expression and freedom of religion are sister rights. The project is managed by English PEN, the free speech and literature organisation, and delivered by a team of researchers of different faiths. It engages young people from a range of religious backgrounds in the free speech debate, which resulted in the creation an original and innovative learning module that can be found by following this link: http://www.englishpen.org/outreach/young-people/faith-in-free-speech/

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